Sharpie, Draftfcb launch integrated campaign

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Sharpie is looking for consumer engagement with its new “Uncap what's inside” campaign, launched June 1.

The campaign, created by the marker-maker's integrated agency Draftfcb, centers on just-launched Web site The interactive site invites users to register, submit their Sharpie artwork, watch other artists in action, view product demos and connect with the brand on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and the Sharpie blog. The site also offers a proprietary online drawing tool called Web Ink, which lets visitors test drive different markers.

“The idea of the community site is really breaking new ground for us,” said Sally Grimes, global VP of marketing for Sharpie. “We've had for a few years, but never fostered the type of community that we're focusing on today. In addition, this is a more integrated campaign than we've ever had before. We recognize it's a whole new world out there when it comes to how brands interact with and engage with consumers and, this campaign is reflection of that.”

The analytics plan that Sharpie is developing to gauge the success of the campaign will include measurements of social buzz online.

TV ads on ABC Family, TBS, Bravo and other channels will debut June 15, with a call to action to drive people to the site. Print ads in magazines like Real Simple and US Weekly and digital ads will also promote the site when they roll out later this month.

“Uncap what's inside” is aimed at existing Sharpie users. The goal, Grimes added, is to inspire them to use Sharpies in new and different ways, and to inform them of Sharpie products they may not be as familiar with.

“The big idea is really about inspiring the consumer to uncap or bring out what's inside themselves and their Sharpies by way of creativity and self-expression.” she explained. “The inspiration for the campaign really came from our passionate Sharpie consumers because they are using their Sharpies and expressing themselves.”

The first leg of the campaign will wind down in September, after the back-to-school shopping season, but a holiday campaign is already in the works for November and beyond.

Draftfcb, which won the Sharpie account earlier this year, is working with PR firm Weber Shandwick on some social media aspects of the campaign, and with Starcom, which is in charge of media buying.

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